On Nov. 8, 1984, Paul H. Inskeep slipped away from his job on the early morning shift at Bethlehem Steel and drove to a house on Carroll Island Road in Essex. It was a place he had visited before, when no one was at home.
But on this day, a 21-year-old woman was sleeping in a bedroom there. Inskeep, wearing a ski mask and brandishing a knife, awakened the woman and raped her. He fled with her slip and two personal letters.
Those items -- found last year by police in Inskeep's house -- were part of a collection of women's lingerie, letters and photographs linking him to 11 sex-related attacks in Essex, Catonsville and Dundalk over nearly a decade.
Yesterday, Inskeep, 47, pleaded guilty in Baltimore County Circuit Court to the Essex rape and burglary and to an attempted rape and burglary in Catonsville in 1985, in an agreement to dismiss charges from nine other attacks.
But the agreement does not bar prosecutors from using evidence in the other cases to persuade the court to impose the maximum penalty of life in prison plus 20 years when Inskeep is sentenced Dec. 17.
"His method of operation was to break into a place when nobody was home, then return later to do the rape," said Mickey Norman, a prosecutor in the case. "The things he took were trophies of his adventure. He would relive his experience by looking at them."
Robin Coffin, another prosecutor, said the stolen items pinpointed Inskeep as a suspect early in the investigation.
Inskeep had been convicted in a similar sex-related burglary in 1982 and sentenced to undergo sex therapy at a clinic. However, he failed to keep his appointments, Ms. Coffin said.
From 1984 to 1989, 11 assaults -- seven of them rapes -- were reported in areas Inskeep lived or frequented, prosecutors said.
Inskeep was arrested in February 1989 after a young rape victim recognized the voice of her attacker as that of a friend of her parents.
Baltimore County Detective Karen M. Gentry, who obtained a search warrant for the Dundalk home that Inskeep shares with his second wife, found the victim's belongings and those of other assault victims in a red box locked in a dresser drawer, and a bundle of the women's lingerie stuffed in a duffel bag.